from Tales from the Bad Years

I didn’t expect to see you here –
I mean outside, smoking.
I’m more of a nicorette girl these days.
I’m joking.
I mean – I did quit.
But who feels like joking now?
I’ll see you your scowl
And raise you a furrowed brow.


Do you remember how we used to read
Rilke, Joyce?
And we barely understood it,
But it gave us a voice
Or a language…
I don’t read poetry anymore.
But if I did,
I’d be reading it tonight for sure.
Oh. Oh.

I keep thinking about how the timing seems false.
How some days seem faster than my fucking pulse.
And others go so slow.
Like this morning
Feels like a month ago.
Oh. Oh.
Oh. Oh.

I feel like I’m underwater.
I feel like I’m underwater.
I feel like I’m underwater.

There’s this building you pass
On the subway to Queens.
It’s on the L or the R or the one that’s green.
It’s covered in tags,
Bright hieroglyphics.
These fifteen-year-olds –
They’re so fucking prolific.
I’m commuting,
I’m eating my goddamn apple
And they’re secretly painting their Sistine Chapel.
But whatever,
It’s like they know their odds.
If you're gonna die young,
You'd better live like gods.

And me?
I’m not doing anything.
I’m not helping or cleaning.
I’m not even crying.
I’m not doing anything.
She’d be so goddamn helpful.
Well, fuck her for dying ’cause I,
I’m not writing her elegy.
Not me.
I’m not writing that down.
They would scrawl her name on a city wall
But I’m a fucking clown.
I’m making jokes
So I don’t drown.
I feel like I’m underwater.
I feel like I’m underwater.
I feel like I’m underwater.
I feel like I’m underwater.
Like the whole world is underwater.
Like I’m screaming out underwater.
I feel like I’m underwater these days.

I didn’t expect to see you here.
I mean – thanks for coming.
I thought you’d oppose the use of religious rites as numbing.
I mean – it is dumb.
But what if she can hear them pray?
I mean what the fuck do we know?
Who are we to say?
If there was anyway.

Associated Artists

Emma Hunton
Lauren Samuels
Kait Kerrigan